What's In a Name?
There have been some huge shifts in our understanding of what we'd now call the LBTQI community, and in the relationship between faith, church and society, since LGCM was founded in 1976. Yet our name remains – with the notable exception of the inclusion of lesbians – unchanged. Why is that, and does it matter?
From the very beginning, our members and supporters have included people who don't identify as gay Christians – straight allies, both married and single, and people of other faiths and beliefs, and of no particular belief, but committed to love, truth and justice. So being a member of LGCM doesn't suggest you're a gay Christian yourself – but that you stand alongside people who do, and want to work for change.
It's really important to us that everyone who shares our commitment, as expressed in our Statement of Conviction – can feel a part of our movement for change. Over the years we have come to understand that some groups of people have a particular and distinctive contribution to make to the conversation about same-sex relationships – women, people who identify as transgender, bisexual people, and those who don't identify with male-female ways of understanding gender. We believe that all these voices are important if we're to have a proper and thoughtful conversation about sexuality and faith, about who God has created us to be, and about the nature and person of God. We need to create spaces for people's diverse experiences and stories, and to listen out, particularly, for the voices we don't usually hear.
The trustees and members of LGCM regularly find themselves discussing our name! We ask ourselves whether it continues to reflect the things which are important to us, whether it draws in and includes people, or puts people off getting involved. Right now, we do know that our name is well known, especially by the media, our heritage is valued across the church communities, and our name is explicit about what we're here to do. Our name is a tribute, in no small part, to those who worked hard, at huge personal cost, for the rights we enjoy today. For the future – who knows? We may see things differently …